One of the more interesting things to come across my radar recently is [matrix].
Matrix is an open standard/protocol for real time communications, intending to allow different service providers to pass communications back and forth with end users being unaware. Even just as a concept that is pretty breathtaking.
To give you a concrete example, one might envision video conferencing between a user on Skype and another on Google Hangouts. Or, as I have been doing today, text chatting on a Freenode IRC channel from an instant messaging app.
But wait, there’s more!
Encryption is fairly integral to the protocol, and most every communication stream can be end-to-end encrypted. You can also verify keys, ensuring the communication is not just secure, but you are certain who is at the other end of the pipe.
It supports text, audio, and audio-video streams, which would seem to cover the majority of probable personal communications, and does either 1-to-1 or groups. I am not sure if it is part of protocol, but Riot.im – which appears to be a sort of index implementation – also includes support for communities.
Unfortunately, like every public room/channel style communications system, it allows/supports trolls. One of whom has been dominating the channel I want to ask questions in for the past hour and a half.